Each week this year, we’ve listened to and promoted as much new music and artists as possible. Each week, our post of the best songs to stream serves up the most enticing new music we’ve come across from a seemingly infinite number of choices. In the process, it would be literally impossible to assemble a master playlist of our favorite releases of the year, so we turned it over to some of the artists and labels we’ve been admiring and respecting or years! After a highly readable End Of The Year summary last year, we are once again joined by Justin Pearson of Three One G Records, PLANET B, SWING KIDS, THE LOCUST, RETOX, and DEAD CROSS, who shared his thoughts on 2018 and gave us his shortlist of best releases of 2018. Voila:
The emphasis on a new years has always been odd to me. I don’t see things in a linear path, and certainly don’t see things as a changing year by year. Things have been pretty insane in 2018, but every year seems insane, good and bad, when you are in the thick of it. Things are constantly shifting and some things take time, or lag, and stretch out past the changing of a year, or have a lasting affect, which tapers into future years. Nonetheless, I thought that we would see the end of the Trump administration here in the U.S., I am fascinated that humans recently made contact with Mars again, and I’ve managed to release an album that is being labeled as a rap album. I’m grateful that I’m still here on this planet.
Longmont Potion Castle “Where In The Hell Is The Lavender House?” LP
I have spent the better part of the last couple decades obsessing over LPC. It’s almost became integrated into certain circles of people, where the way LPC speaks becomes part of a coded dialogue. If you have never experienced a LPC wormhole on You Tube or whatever legal or illegal streaming service you dig, you need to take a dip. This is easily the best crank caller I’ve ever come across. I was lucky enough to recently have LPC on an episode of the Cult and Culture Podcast that I do, which also featured Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation, just to make things a bit more insane.
Daughters “You Won’t Get What You Want LP
This album was shared with me when I was on tour with Jon Sylverson, who was tour managing Dead Cross last summer. It seemed to have come out of nowhere and, well, surpassed anything I would have expected from them. I love Jon to death. I also really love Lex, and his vocals, vocal placement, etc. So it was a pleasure to hear this album in advance and also to find out that it was being released on Ipecac. I was a bit bummed that I wasn’t able to see them play it live (yet), but I’m certainly glad this album is out there in the world now.
Martin Atkins’ lecture: Memories – My Time In and Out of Public Image LTD. 1979-1985
I’ve become friends with Martin over the years, by taking part in lectures together in San Diego and Chicago, then by doing a live improv recording a few years back, and more recently by having him on one of the tracks from the debut Planet B album. He hit me up about his recent lecture in Los Angeles, and Luke from Planet B and I made the trek up to hear it and to record a Cult and Culture Podcast with him. The dude amazes me in quite a few ways. 1) He is still such a ripper on drums. I’ve been so lucky to play with super talented drummer my entire life, so I have sort of high drummer standards. Martin is right up there, even as a generation ahead of me, even with Doc Martens boots on, and even in a suit. I wish he could join Planet B as a full-time second drummer! Anyhow, his lecture was really amusing, very thought-out and covered a lot of history that I grew up obsessing over as a kid. [Public Image Ltd.’s] Flowers of Romance was one of the most influential albums in my life, so it was so cool to get a ton of insight into that album and the stuff surrounding it.
Paniker “Blasphony” EP
It’s OK for me to pick an album that Three One G released, yeah? If not, oh well, I’m doing it. I love Brent Asbury and everything he does. Years ago we were neighbors in San Diego, and became friends, which led to us working on most of the All Leather stuff that the band did, some of the Locust stuff which became Molecular Genetics From the Gold Standard Labs, and Retox’s Beneath California. Not to mention he has this rad solo project called Schlag-Schlag, which was so weird and incredible. Anyhow, Three One G released Panicker’s debut LP previously, but this year the label released his EP titled Blasphony, which has one of the best tracks he’s done, “Sticky Riot of Colors.” EDM tends to be lazy, in my opinion, like a lot of music, I guess. But Brent knows how to really fuck it up, and draw from places that most electronic music producers might never venture to.
Hot Snakes “Jericho Sirens” LP
It was great that we were given a new Hot Snakes LP this year. I love what these guys do. All of the players are awesome people and make such great music. Makes me psyched to be from San Diego, where bands like this come from. I had the pleasure of stopping by the studio when this was being recorded and got a little insight on things — how they write and record, and how it translates live. So it was a pleasure to finally get to hear it in its final stage. Of course, these dudes never let me down. I’ll admit it though, I was really hoping for a new Jehu album. It seems like that was in the cards. Nonetheless, this is right up with their collective resumes, and it’s a fantastic album.